Hawkesbury is a great place to take your family and friends whether spending a few days or weeks floating down the beautiful Hawkesbury River and abroad and a great place to hire a houseboat. I don’t know about you, however, I find there is always something really relaxing about either being by or near places with a view of the water. Maybe it is the ever-changing waterside landscape of other boats, kayakers or swimmers passing by or the sheer beauty of the landscape itself of precipitous sandstone cliff faces that mimic the sun as it chases the surface of the land throughout the days, bushland and birdlife that we are lucky enough to enjoy in and around the Hawkesbury and for many reasons one of my favourites, The Hawkesbury River which I must say is one of the best places to visit.
Some of the activities you could do in the Hawkesbury may include fishing, kayaking, swimming, water skiing, tubing, horseback riding, picnics, eating out in local restaurants and cafes and even a special treat of hiring a houseboat and experiencing the great riverside lifestyle with your family and friends. The kind of houseboat you hire will depend on your personal tastes and how many people you are catering, for example; the Ripples houseboats offer The 13 metre Cohercraft that can house 4-10 people, the Classic Fenwicks ideal for couples and small families and The Elite Houseboat that can accommodate up to 12 people.
Best places to hire a houseboat
Hawkesbury Houseboats – hawkesburyhouseboats.com.au
Luxury Afloat – luxuryafloat.com
Ripples Houseboats – holidaysafloat.com.au
Brooklyn Marina – brooklynmarina.com.au
Omega Hawkesbury Houseboat Hire – omegaclipper34.com.au
There are many questions you may consider when thinking of hiring a houseboat, I have covered off on some of the most popular, such as:
What do I need to bring?
First of all, it is important to remember to pack all the essentials. Avoid bulky heavy items as there is limited storage space, opt for soft bags that can pack away easily. You can bring along all your favourite snacks and food, remember to freeze those items that may last a little longer as most houseboats provide ice-chests or regular dry ice eskies however don’t forget to ask when you book. Pack your food in snap lock bags and avoid glass, breakables as much as possible.
To avoid harmful sun rays, make sure you pack sunscreen lotion, a hat and a pair of sunglasses. Do not forget beach towels for when you want to take a swim and use as dual purpose for the beach and showers. Your shoe choice should also count, everyone wants to step out on the right foot so I would suggest no stilettos onboard, more like barefoot or thongs, sneakers and maybe a set of hiking boots if you go off Riverside instead of heals and leather shoes. You might also want to pack some warm clothes vests or rain poncho just in case of inclement weather.
Also bottled water for cooking and drinking just in case you run out on the boat stores, pack your phone to take some great photographs and pipe music through the entertainment unit, a digital camera, ice, fishing tackle and rods and you will probably find a first aid kit on board in case of emergencies, just check when booking.
Do I need a Boat Licence?
Good news folks….a boat licence is not necessary to charter a houseboat on the Hawkesbury. The only requirement is to be 18 years and above and be in possession of an unrestricted car licence and you are ready to go. You will be given a briefing on the houseboat of your choice before you float off into the sunset so you will be able to tackle just about anything on the water.
Can I swim in the Hawkesbury from my houseboat?
Yes, you can brave the waters of the Hawkesbury and go for a refreshing swim. You just have to make sure you are careful about the speed and current of the water and the temperature because the water can be very cold during winter seasons. Also one should be careful about diving into unchartered waters and often the river does not provide great visibility for depth. Make sure you find a good spot and know the depth of the water before diving in off the houseboat to avoid any unnecessary mishaps, equally sometimes there are floating items in the river like logs or debris which are often just hidden below the surface.
Can I fish from my boat or shoreline on the Hawkesbury River?
Yes, bring your fishing rod and expect to hook a fish or two for lunch or dinner. Don’t forget you will need to obtain your recreational fishing licence, for as a little as $7 for 3 days, which can be done online or when booking your trip or at the link provided here.
Any recreational fishing in NSW waters for both freshwater and saltwater and for the following activities:-
- spear fishing
- hand lining
- hand gathering
- bait collecting
- prawn netting
- in possession of fishing gear in, on or adjacent to waters.
you are required to obtain your licence and make sure you keep the receipt handy for proof of licence when onboard as they do spot checks.
How many people can I bring on my boat?
This will depend on the size and type of the houseboat you charter and make sure you check when booking.
Are there any restaurants on the Hawkesbury River
Is the Pope a Catholic…The answer is a resounding yes, some of the best restaurants in Sydney can be found in the Hawkesbury it is a great tourist hub. Like:
- Berowra Waters Inn Restaurant: Phone – 9456 1027
- Cottage Point Inn Restaurant: Phone – 9456 1011
- Peats Bite Restaurant (accessible only by boat): Phone – 9985 9040
- Anglers Restaurant: Phone – 9985 7860
- King Tide Cafe – Brooklyn: Phone – 9985 7102
Have fun if you get to charter a Houseboat on the beautiful Hawkesbury one day soon.